"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fire Training Facility Open House

 Saturday we headed over to the county fire training facility for an open house.

 They demonstrated a technique called "Pump and Roll" meaning the firefighter walked with the house, putting out the grass fire as the truck drove along beside him.

Can you tell it was a bit windy?

 We visited with the firefighters while everyone else headed back to the firehall.  They let the boys each spray the hose.

 The three year old thought it was fun, but he got so excited...

... that he ran away :)

 The ten year old took a little convincing, but really enjoyed it once he tried.

I had to go up with the five year old (I'm cropped out of the picture behind him), but I could tell he really wanted to do it, and just needed the help to be brave enough to try.  He hasn't stopped talking about the fire trucks all week.

They had burgers and dogs, with mac and cheese, french fries and coleslaw - a free feast.

 Then we went for a ride in one of the trucks.

He held onto his hat the whole way :)

 Our fireman driver was named Festus... yes, really.

 The ten year old opted to ride on the back of the cab, outside, where they had to stand and hang on.  I asked him how it was, and he said, "Bumpy." :)

 Then we took a guided tour of the burn building.

 There are only two rooms that they can burn actual fires in (due to the heat).  The rest are rigged up with a smoke machine.

 We enjoyed the tour, but after the second floor, the see-through metal grate staircases were too much for the five year old.

You can see why - you can look right through them.

 That wasn't a problem for the other two.  Even the three year old didn't have any problem with them.

 The local fire inspector was the one leading our tour.  He showed the kids the metal door prop they use to teach firemen how to enter locked buildings.

When it was all over, I was a happy camper.  I won a $100 gift card to our local grocery store. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sommers Ranch Homestead Field Trip

 Our local homeschool group got together for a field trip to the Sommers Ranch Homestead last Friday.  I'm a bit behind in my blogging, and there are a ton of pictures in this one, so please excuse the length.

 This is a really neat historical site with a lot of hands on activities.

And anyone who says homeschoolers miss out on socialization has never been on one of our field trips :)

 Checkin' out the chickens :)  (They were fake).

 They have an old fashioned playground too.

 See the piece on the left with the wagon wheels?  It's a teeter totter with old metal tractor seats.

And this is a merry-go-round.  It is hard to push though.

It's hard to see, but there's a basketball hoop on the board.

 Inside the ranch house - the kitchen.  Red and white must have been very popular.  We toured another old house several years ago with a red and white kitchen almost exactly like this.

The five year old was especially excited to see the waffle iron on the old stove.  I'm sure I've mentioned that's his latest obsession.  He has one every day for breakfast and begs for them at every other meal.

I have often wanted to try cooking on one of these old stoves.  I'm just glad I don't have to use it every day.  I can't imagine the heat in the summertime - ugh.  

Checking out the old irons.

 I love that the kids are encouraged to touch things here.

The rest of the kitchen/dining room.  My grandparents had an old cream separator like the one under the stairs, and a phone like the one on the wall.  I used to play with both of them.

 This was in the corner of the kitchen/dining room.  The pegs hold chaps and at the right, a mail bag.

I hope you can read this - maybe by clicking on it.  It's a couple of interesting stories about trips to get the mail.

The homestead has a lot of informative pages like this one that tells how to make lye.
The ten year old thought the wall mounted coffee grinder was pretty cool, but decided that we'd all get pretty tired grinding enough coffee for his Dad :)

 The living room has a desk with a typewriter and adding machine the kids could play with.  The five year old found his first initial :)

 If you were sitting at the typewriter and turned around, this would be behind you - an old coal burning stove.  If you look closely in the foreground you'll see the spinning wheel.

We were given a demonstration on how to use it, and some older kids got to try it out.

 This is the front half of the living room.

 The game table.

Above the couch they have a display of some of the old newspapers they found on the walls.

 The first few years the home was just rough cut wood planks.  Later it was papered with newspaper before being covered several times with wallpaper.

 I thought it was fascinating to read what was going on then - the papers were from around 1909.  The president this paper was welcoming was Taft, who took office in 1909.

 I love this story titled "Bandits Loot Bank" - and I love that they refer to the robbers as "desperadoes" :)

 I was impressed too by how many different papers they had - not just different issues, but papers from many different towns and states.

 Upstairs there is a room filled with kids toys where the kids are welcome to play.

 I loved the wallpaper in this room.

The sign explains that they had this paper reproduced from a sample they took from the room.

 There were all sorts of old toys, dolls, etc.

 This is an old puzzle on blocks - so every side of the block makes a different puzzle.  There are cards for each of the scenes.

 An old crib.  Makes me cringe to see how narrow those rods were, and how far apart.

A little leather rocking chair...

 They also have a display case with plexiglass in front to protect things like old Barbie dolls..

soaps and cleaners...

And marbles.

My Grandma had a chalkboard similar to this one at her house that we used to play with.

 This was the "master bedroom."  It is above the kitchen and dining room.  The signs said it was believed that it was originally two smaller rooms, but had been changed into one big one.

This is the other side of it - a sewing area.

Sewing supplies, patterns, lace and crochet work.

An old treadle machine...

Fun pattern on the crochet panel  horses and cactus.

 The master bedroom is on the south side of the house, this steep staircase is in the middle, and the kids room and another bedroom are on the north side.

Here is the other bedroom.  This room and the kids' cowboy room are above the living room.

 We also toured the barn.

 They have fake animals, including a cow you can really milk.

 I wasn't going to let the three year old do this as he has a milk allergy, but he got to it before I could stop him.

 The five year old really put all his weight into it.  Good thing this wasn't a real cow - ha.

 They also have fake horses.

 I loved this old metal pedal car.  Wish they still made these!  They're so much better than the throw-away plastic ones we have now.

There are several different outbuildings, including this cellar.

 It's a blurry picture but the only one I have that shows the size of the cellar.

The five year old wanted to sit on the seat of the manure spreader.  You should have seen his face when I explained exactly how a manure spreader works.  We had one on our farm when I was growing up that looked pretty much just like this one (if you ignore all the wagon wheels).

 Inside the shop the kids got to do leatherwork.  They could make a coaster or a bookmark.  They have several different punches to choose from. It was pretty fun (but very loud with all the hammering).

 The five year old's coaster...

He was a little obsessed with the cat stamp. :)

 Now this was just about the sweetest thing I saw all day, but it takes a little explaining.  My three year old saw this 3 1/2 year old girl trying to pump water.  But he noticed that there wasn't a bucket, so he went to get one for her.

He hooked it on for her too.

It was a really hot day so the boys enjoyed a nice cool drink from the bucket.  I was impressed with how hot it was (over 80*) that the house was actually very comfortable - not hot at all. They had a covered, screened porch on the back side of the house (west) that was nice and cool.  It was a really fun field trip.  (And I didn't even get pictures of the ice house or bunk house.)